Thesis: consisting of a course of study in hog production to be taught in Virginia agricu[l]tural high schools

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Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute

The Primary object in the preparation of this course of study in Animal husbandry is to devine a practical plan for presenting the study of hogs in the various schools of this State. There are no two schools that will be able to adopt the same methods in every particular, hence a certain amount of latitude is allowed each instructor in adapting the suggestions given here to his own particular needs.

In selecting the references the author has tried to use those which will be found in the library of the average agricultural high school. It is believed that courses of study are often of little use because of the type of reference material used. The text adopted is "A Study of Farm Animals" by Plumb and has been found to be very satisfactory in a number of the schools. Since books are constantly being revised in the light of experimental data it is urged that every instructor make use of the latest bulletins as they appear from the various experiment stations. The libraries of two schools in widely different sections of the state were consulted in the selection of references and it is thought a large number of them will be applicable for all schools where hog production is an important feature. It is further hoped that with the elimination of a large number of texts the instructor will be inclined to make use of those suggested.

It will be noted that only the seven breeds most conspicuous in Virginia are mentioned in the study of types and breeds. It is again assumed that the instructor will make the necessary adaptation for any unusual breed found in his community.

An agricultural instructor is in a position to organize and plan his work better than most other types of teachers. The fact he is on the job during the summer months gives him an opportunity for knowing the pupils he will have the next year in any particular course as well as the needs of information of these pupils.

The first job for an agricultural instructor is to determine the references he will need to put across a satisfactory job of teaching in a certain topic. In the case of books it is often only necessary to procure a copy of each for the agricultural library but he should if possible get enough of each bulletin listed in the course of study so that each pupil may have one for his individual use. Again the Instructor has the advantage of being on the job during the summer months and doing all necessary correspondence to make this material available for his pupils. This material should be catalogued so as to be accessible for use at any time the need arises.

Since this course must necessarily make up only a portion of the work in animal husbandry for a year it is left to the instructor to fit the days' work for each month into his system of instruction. It is intended that the course serve as an outline of presentation of the subject of swine, suggesting not only the topics to be treated under such a subject, but also the reference material necessary under each topic.

For the instructor who is giving a unit course in hog production a course of study is almost indispensable. The division of the work into topics attracts the farmers and creates an interest that otherwise does not exist. It is quite probable that among a group of adult farmers there will be several who are quite proficient in some line and each of these should be allowed to take one of the jobs and show the efficiency of the methods he employs.

The course has been put on a job basis so as to divide and analyze each topic on the basis that a farmer does these jobs on his farm.

The text is meant to serve merely as an aid to the instructor in making assignments and as an outline for the pupil. The assignments in the text will necessarily be brief and as a result the instructor must resort to a number of outside agencies for supplementary assignments. These are given in the outline that follows directly under the problem which is to be presented. Where a large amount of material is available for any one particular problem it may be advisable to divide the assignment among the pupils and require each to present the topic in a different form.